November 18, 2012

Crystal Pendant Family Photo Ornaments


I treasure my collection of family photos that have been passed down through the generations.  Rather than keeping them hidden from the world in a stuffy old trunk or shoebox, I love to have them out and about where they can be enjoyed. 

My dining table is graced by an oversized vintage wooden tool caddy that is filled with photos for the family to enjoy.  In my living room, you'll find a vintage-style postcard rack stocked with old photo cards of our ancestors.  And on the front door, guests are greeted by a wreath circled by tiny portraits, family surnames and crests.  


That's why, when a box filled with incredible crafting supplies arrived from Plaid, I knew in an instant what direction I'd take with my holiday crafting campaign with Blueprint Social!  


I'd been dying to try Plaid's Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, so I developed a project based around this versatile product.  Using inexpensive chandelier crystals, some beads and beading supplies, I was able to create easy and elegant pendant Christmas ornaments with photos of loved ones from the past and present.

Just imagine an entire tree trimmed with these nostalgic baubles!  Commemorate a wedding, baby's first year, or pay homage to generations past.  Whether shimmering from evergreen branches, or wrapped up in a gift, these ornaments are sure to sparkle with meaning for all that behold them.

 
Crystal Family Photo Pendant Ornaments

 Materials
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  • Plaid's Folk Art Acrylic Paint -- Metallic Silver or Gold
  • Chandelier Crystals (From the craft store or home improvement store)
  • Family photos, scanned and reduced to fit the dimensions of the crystal. 
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • paper towel
  • paint brush
  • Pinch bails (from the beading section of the craft store -- silver or gold depending on your preference)
  • Beads of your choice
  • Crimp tubes
  • Crimp bead covers
  • All-in-one jewelry pliers
  • Silver or gold beading wire (thin enough to pass through the beads when doubled-up.)


Step 1:  Print out photos in high quality on regular printer paperLay crystal on top of photo and trace with a pencil.  Cut along the inside of the pencil marks.

Step 2:  Set crystal on piece of paper towel.  Apply a thin coat of Dimensional Magic to the back of the crystal, leaving a 1/8" border.  Gently set the photo (face down) on top of the Dimensional Magic.  Using a finger, press the photo into place.  The paper towel will prevent the Dimensional Magic from running to the front of the crystal.  You can apply firm pressure without getting your other hand sticky. Work out any wrinkles, then set aside to dry for a few minutes.


Step 3:   When Dimensional Magic is dry, paint the back of the paper with the Folk Art Metallic paint.  Allow to dry for a few minutes, then brush on a second coat.


Step 4:  When the second coat of paint is dry, you're ready to start beading.  To bead:

  • Pinch a bail into place with your all-in-one tool.  If the hole in the crystal has been sealed by the photo, use a pin or needle to open it back up.
  • Thread an 9"-10" piece of wire through the bail.  Lock into place by threading a small bead through both ends of the wire (length will depend on how long you would like the finished ornament to be).   
  • Continue adding beads by threading both ends of the wire through the hole.      
  • When you've achieved the desired length, thread the ends  of the wire through a crimp tube, in opposite directions, to create a loop.  Pinch crimp tube in place with your all-in-one tool.  Then use the tool to trim the loose ends of the wire.   
   
Your ornaments are ready to hang from the tree or wrap as a gift.


The Dimensional Magic Crystal Pendants can also be attached to a larger bail and hung from a necklace.  I'll be featuring a tutorial for these braided lace and chain necklaces later in the week. 


I have a feeling it's going to be a real Mod-Podge-apalooza here in the coming weeks.  To stay up to date on the latest crafty goodness from Plaid, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


For more holiday inspirations, check out what my fellow Blueprint Social members did with their Plaid products:


Disclosure:  I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are genuine and 100% my own
 

34 comments:

  1. This is a creative idea! I love having meaningful objects scattered around our home. These are going to look great on your Christmas tree!

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  2. Adore this Jenn. I have made some keepsake ornaments to remember loved ones and absolutely love this idea!

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  3. I LOVE these! I have a couple that someone bought me as a gift years ago, and making my own has been on my to-do list for ages. Thanks for the reminder! I can see lots and lots of these on our Christmas tree :)

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  4. I don't often comment, but I LOVE these earrings. Ty for the tutorial!

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  5. Fabulous, Jenn! I never would have thought to adhere photos to the back of chandelier crystals, but they look amazing! These would be lovely hanging on the Christmas tree. :)

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  6. Thank you so much for the very cool project!

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  7. This is really creative and pretty!


    <3 Melissa
    wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

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  8. These are gorgeous Jenn! I am thinking my MIL would love some of these on her tree - Her tree is all white lights and crystal ornaments so these will fit right in! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  9. so very clever. wouldn't these be fun as drink markers! i love your idea of using them for a wedding as well. i am very envious of your amazing photo collection..what a wonderful way to remember your ancestry.

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  10. Love your creations....as ALWAYS!

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  11. What a fantastic idea, Jenn. I love the idea and that's great tip to paint the back with metallic paint. Wishing you and your wonderful family a blessed Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for your friendship! xo

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  12. What a great idea. I love the idea of a tree covered in vintage photos!

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  13. Beautiful, Jenn! I love the one with your wedding photo in it!

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  14. This is crazy cool! I am going to try this.

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  15. This is such a great idea! I just used Mod Podge for the first time last week and have been looking for other projects to complete. Thank-you for the detailed tutorial.

    http://craftsandnails.blogspot.com

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  16. Will regular Mod Podge work? Or does it need to be the dimensional type?

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    1. I was wondering the same thing. Did you try it with regular Mod Podge? Did it work?

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    2. I have a hunch that regular Mod Podge probably would do the trick here as well.

      Jenn

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    3. I have used Mod Podge to adhere pics to the back of clear round glass balls, the flattened kind, and it works great. Just clip the edges of the pics to conform to the curves. Then paint, like you did, put some "snow" inside and cover edge of pic with metallic tape or ribbon. You can even layer pics, add mustaches to faces, etc. Just remember to do the top layer first and work back.

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  17. I like the project but thought I ought to point out that photographs will deteriorate over time if you leave them in the light. I keep my family photographs in a box which keeps them in the dark - and I take copies of the ones I want to put in frames etc. Your descendants will thank you if you keep the originals safe and use only prints.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning that, Fee. I should point out that original photos should not be used for this project. Save the originals and store them properly, either under UV Glass, or in archival quality storage. Photocopies or scans of original photos work beautifully for this project.

      Jenn

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  18. Does it matter if the image is printed using an inkjet printer? I have been looking for some creative ways to use old family photographs & this is so unique & charming!

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  19. Does it matter if the image is printed using an inkjet printer? I have been looking for some creative ways to use old family photographs & this is so unique & charming!

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    Replies
    1. Inkjet is what I use, so yes. Just give the ink some time to dry before you apply the glue.

      Jenn

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  20. Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work.
    www.roygroething.com | Higher Ed Photography

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  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  22. What was the length of pendants that you used? Super cute!

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    1. Hi Corrie, the crystals I found were from Michael's. They were acrylic and were around 2" tall.

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  23. Hi, I'm spanish and I didn't find this crystal in stores. Can you tell me a page or store to find this and buy online?

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  24. Hi Josemaria, give this website a try: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/hanging-crystal.html

    Happy crafting!
    Jenn

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  25. I've tried to do this several times now and have failed each time!
    a - The mod podge dimensional magic did NOT set after even a 1/2 hour of holding it tightly with my fingers.
    b - I tried rubber bands, but that was hard on a the teardrop shape. This left a few gaps.
    c - trying normal mod podge now, and rubber bands again today but even after 2 hours I can see it's not set through the crystal! I think the mod podge must fill all the gaps between photo and image to see it through nicely? But I have gaps there...
    I'm very frustrated and sad!

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I enjoy hearing from you! Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of the creative and positive spirit here at Rook No. 17! xoxo Jenn

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